You will need to work the research literature into a story or narrative that helps you to present your perspective on the topic in a logical and coherent manner. Some questions to help guide you:
What is coping? What is proactive coping? How is it measured?
What is personality? What is the Five Factor Model of personality? How is it measured?
How is personality related to coping, and proactive coping in particular?
Why is it important to understand how personality relates to coping?
What sorts of stressors are university students exposed to?
What are the practical applications for university students in understanding how personality relates to coping, and how it relates to proactive coping in particular?
Dimensions of Student Stress
Stress and pressure are a part of human lives. The life of a student is full of pressure, that comes from his own aspirations, from the peers as well as the from the family members. Thus, coping up with such, stresses are often difficult and various personality disorders might be seen in the students. However, it is essential that a student learn to cope up with the pressure around him and become successful in overcoming these. Psychologists have discovered that different people will react and cope differently with their personal stress. Due to issues and challenges facing student in dealing with anxiety and demands of the university system, behaviorist’s experts have conducted research and explained how a person trait will influence student coping with the situation. Student stress is mainly brought about dealing with assignments under tight schedules, examinations, financial related issues, social relationships and how they balance their normal life with school life. In his study Mazo, (2016) outlines that a stressed student is likely to be characterized by deep thoughts, anxiety, anger, irritation and other health related complications such as headaches and abnormal heart beat rates which call for a proactive coping mechanism to regulate and control or manage the situation. The aim of the paper is to explain how a student personality will determine how he or she decides to cope with the pressure and stress associated with both the personal and educational related issues, Straud, Mcnaughton-Cassill, & Fuhrman (2015).
The paper will attempt to explain all the dimensions of stress a student can face while trying to balance his school and personal life with the main emphasis on determining the main difference between the aspects of both coping and proactive coping while at school or on personal activity. It will also explain the concepts and types of the “big five” personality traits through examples in order to bring a clear understanding personality traits and proactive coping as measurement methods to regulate stress effects to students. Some personality types will be integrated to assist in determining how different students react and deal with their stressful situations. There cannot be coping without stressors, by understanding all types of stressors it will be easier to explain the main determinants of coping and relate it to how a particular student with a given trait would handle pressure and anxiety. At the end of the paper, it will be clear why this subject is important to students, learning organizations, parents and general society in dealing with problems that make students ineffective. After the combination of all the issues and subjects, it will be easier to refer to the content of the material and understand ways of coping with pressure and educational demands and how personality character will determine an individual reaction to unfavorable situation Hambriick and Mccord (2010).
Coping has different detentions but all of them share a concept that explains that coping primarily means what an individual does to prevent or manage a stressful situation (Hambriick, &, Mccord (2010). They also argue that coping with a situation depends on an individual surrounding and the type of problem he or she is dealing with. Scientific researchers have brought the concept of stimulus and stimulation in the process of coping where an individual identifies a stressful situation and then decide the eventual response to that problem (Li and Yang, (2016)). There are different coping strategies depending on the stress whether being a problem stress or an emotional related stress. Traditional coping styles were based on reaction after a situation had arisen but in recent years scholars have identified proactive coping as a way of dealing with impending risks. Proactive coping has a key role to play in the personality of a person. Proactive coping involves a person predicting risks and taking a measure to deal with the anticipated stress. This helps in helping the person understand the stress that might come to the person, along with being prepared for the anticipated stress. Proactive reacting is all about preparing yourself for impending risks and dealing with them promptly. By anticipating an incoming crisis a person gathers all resources so as to prevent the crisis from happening or to reduce the effect it will have if it happens. The anticipation of these stressful conditions helps the person prepare for oneself for the upcoming stress and the adverse situations. The mental preparation, along with controlling one’s emotions are essential for being successful for the in the stressful situation. Among students, the prowess to anticipate incoming threats and react effectively is different depending on each individual personality. For students, the proactive coping has a significant role to play. A student’s life is full of stress and incoming pressure. However, they have to fight against all odd, and come out with success in their career. Thus proactive coping has to be practiced and incorporated into the personality of the students.
Coping and Proactive Coping
Personality is described and explained as for how people think, act and carry out themselves in different conditions. They further argue that social character and behavior are mainly used to explain an individual character and personality. In universities, the student thinks, act and react differently to the same situation thus showing the characteristic difference in their personalities. A same situation given to the students have different reactions. Some of the students are able to cope up with stress very easily without overstressing themselves. However over, the others might find it hard to cope up with stressful conditions. In his research Gil, (2005) explained that a person habit and attitude toward a given subject primarily explain his or her personality. A person having a positive attitude and lots of patience come out of stressful situations easily, in contrast to the people lacking patience as well as perseverance. However, the personality traits are often altered under extreme stress. In adverse situations, a student having adequate patience might tend to take up stress and react in a violent manner.
According to Straud, Mcnaughton-Cassill& Fuhrman, (2015), the subject of traits is divided further to 5 personality traits that extensively explain character difference between people. In their study, the three have come to a consensus that a person personality either lies at the five main traits. Extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neurotic and openness are the five 5 core traits that explain everyone personality. These traits are present in every human being in variable amounts. In some people, the trait of extraversion dominates, while in other person, the extraversion character is dormant. Extravert individual is known for being a highly social character who expresses his or her emotions to everyone without fear. Such a student would be known for making new friends, having a positive energy toward people and conversation. In contrast to this, a person in whom the extravert characteristic is dormant finds himself less social with very few friends. This kind of a person finds difficulty in expressing their emotions and becomes stressful and depressed in adverse situations. The trait is measured using a score that explains high scorers and low scorers. The high ones like the association of people while the low scorers normally reserved in nature and like dealing with their issues alone.
Agreeableness as a trait describes an individual, known people who comply and agree with others at a relative ease. They believe in being sincere and honest with their feelings toward other people they associate with their research. The trait is measured by having high scorers who are generous in their view ideas and honest to other people. Low scorers of this trait are judgmental are not likely to trust anyone they come across. This is one of the essential personal traits among individuals. A neurotic individual is known for drastic emotional changes that origin cannot be explained. Such are evident to their nature of emotional instability and inconsistency as they are smiling one minute and angry the other. Along the scoreboard, the most neurotic persons will be more stressed, anxious and emotional instability. The individual down the scoreboard on this particular trait is known for their collective and relaxed nature.
The Five Factor Model of Personality
Among the traits is the openness to learning new things and experiencing new things. People high on this characteristic will be recognized for their high level of imagination and innovation. Conscientious characters are noticeable due to their nature of control and plan of things around them. They make decision slowly but make sure it is the right one in their own conscious. A student who has a high level of conscientiousness will be seen preparing himself thoroughly for any action and following his goals all through with a high level of focus and commitment. A low scoring individual is known for careless mistakes and rarely follow laid plans and timetables.
In a research it has been observed that university students are having challenging issues in dealing with stress, pressure and education demands of balancing studying life and personal life. Their studies indicate a clear indication that a student stress coping styles is dictated by his or her personality. Adaptation, preventive and avoidance tactics used by a student can be traced back to his own individual trait and character as pointed out by Gil (2005). By using the five personality traits a psychologist will be able to determine how a student will respond to a stressful situation involving personal and education matters. Tight deadlines, coming examinations, personal relationships and financial related issues are among the stressors that can push a student to the limit. Reaction to such situations will be determined by their trait and character.
In a study, by some of the famous researcher, it was reported that university student who is extroverts and conscientious are good in engaging their problems and reacting in a proactive manner to prevent the impact of the incoming risks. Due to their planning nature, they are more likely to prevent any incoming threat, for example, the conscientious student is less likely to feel the pressure of mounting assignments and incoming examinations. People with this kind of a personal trait take up all situations as a challenge, without stressing themselves, thus the chances of success in the adverse situations of life are high. The situation is avoided because a conscientious learner has a planned schedule and timetable to prepare him for incoming responsibilities and duties. The efficiency of his planning and scheduling according to the priority of the tasks, make the person avoid stressful situations. The careful nature will mean he or she will deal with an issue head on therefore preventing surprises. A student low on this trait is more likely to feel the pressure of assignments and examinations hence being a di-stable state of mind. Due to social connections and network, an extrovert will more likely get support and assistance in dealing with the incoming issues thus being a proactive student who gets advice and deals with the incoming risk. A neurotic student has known for avoidance tactics were due to emotional instability he avoids the main problem. He is usually disengaged to the main issue at hand and is always seen with fear, anxiety, and pressure. The avoidance tactic sometimes means a short term solution hence meaning the problem may persist for a long period of time without a solution.
Application of Personality Traits to Coping
According to a study it is reported that an individual who is open to new experience will view the threats as a personal improvement challenge rather than a danger. Due to this stand, he or she is likely to react in a preventive way so as to deal with the impact of the challenge. He single-handedly deals with assignments and personal problems at a personal level as a way to prove himself. This type of coping will mean that he deals with the situation with all his abilities. A student who is open to new experiences will likely be innovative and creative in dealing with impending stressful situations hence achieving the right balance between their personal lives and education demands. Their agreeable nature means they have a strong connection with their social environments. A trusting and honest person is more likely to get support from friends and fellow students on how to deal with incoming anxiety or pressure. A student who does not disclose all information on his mental status will have a problem getting help from those around him.
Coccia, & Darling, (2016) in their study findings explain that combination of traits shows a more significant impact on coping with a crisis than using a single trait. The research findings also showed that having a character that is supported by another will also dictate how a student will deal with the situation. Students who are only extroverts but also neurotic are less likely to cope with an anxiety or stressful experience than those who are only conscientious. The combination of a given trait and another depends on how high or low a score is. These findings have also shown that students with high neurotic levels and low conscientious are the ones who are very vulnerable as they apply principles of procrastination, wishful thinking and avoidance tactics to important issues regarding their learning responsibilities.
In this study, the most favorable students are characterized by having low neurotic behavior and higher conscientious trait as it means the student has a stable mental situation and less likely to be dictated by anger or anxiety. The position also means that a student is characterized by self-drive, discipline, proper planning and goal oriented to the primary objective of planning. Such a student is described by his nature to deal with issues proactively rather than reacting late to examinations and assignments. Scholars have explained that Stress coping and intervention is a delicate matter that requires one to have a perfect combination of personal traits that will influence a student to make a right or wrong decision regarding the pressures and demands of both personal and academic responsibilities (Beleaua&Cocorada, 2016).
The importances of the personality traits as well as the coping up with various situations have been described in details in this assignment. The ability to achieve success in the adverse situations that life offers, depend on the personality traits of the people. Various personality types and traits have been discussed in this assignment. The personality of a person has been categorized into five main traits namely Extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neurotic and openness. These are essential traits in the personality of a person and determine the way the people reacts to various situations. The above findings have shown that a significant number of university students are facing hardship and difficulties in coming up with balanced learning and personal responsibility. Among stressors that students are likely to complain about are financial difficulties, personal relationships, examinations and assignments that decide their final school performance. A psychologist has attempted to explain the close relationships between how a student copes with a situation to his or her personality and traits. As discussed personality and traits try to explain each individual behavior in different situations and dictate relationship with the social environment. A student personality trait can either be described as an extrovert, conscientious, open to ideas, neurotic, or agreeable character.
Proactive coping with the various situations have a key role to play in the life of a student, and this assignment clearly highlights the importance of proactive coping. Students who are able to cope up with stressful situations are found to be more successful, that the other category of students.
A student high in conscientiousness is different to a different one who is neurotic in nature and is likely to cope with stress and pressure differently. A person trait can also assist the student to cope with the demand and responsibilities of being a student. Age, sex, and severity of the problem combined with the traits will indicate if a student deals with the situation by avoidance or proactively. Students are likely to derive information and refer it in the way they cope with an incoming stress. As a recommendation, it is relevant and critical for all stakeholders in university learning to develop ways of dealing with anxiety, pressure, and stress that come with academic demands, by conducting further studies on student personality traits and its role on stress coping methods.
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Gil, S. (2005). Personality Traits And Coping Styles As Mediators In Risky Sexual Behavior: A Comparison Of Male And Female Undergraduate Students. Social Behavior & Personality: An International Journal, 33(2), 149-158.
Hambriick, E. &, Mccord (2010).Proactive coping and it relation to five model of personality.Individual differences research 8, 67-77.
Li, M., & Yang, Y. (2016).A Cross-Cultural Study on a Resilience-Stress Path Model for College Students.Journal of Counseling & Development, 94(3), 319-332.
Major, D. A., Holland, J. M., &Oborn, K. L. (2012).The Influence of Proactive Personality and Coping on Commitment to STEM Majors.Career Development Quarterly, 60(1), 16-24.
Straud, C., Mcnaughton-Cassill, M., & Fuhrman, R. (2015).The role of the Five Factor Model of personality with proactive coping and preventative coping among college students.Personality and Individual Differences,83, 60-64.
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